ELCA eNewsletter
View a message from Head of School, Chuck Gilliam
ELCA Office Relocation
As part of the Greater Things Capital Campaign , we are now enjoying the new high-security foyer and some of the ELCA offices have been relocated to the upper level in that area. You will now find the offices of the Head of School, Admissions, Advancement and Marketing/Communications in this new space.

Be sure to make plans to join us for the Ribbon Cutting for the opening of the new Charger Store location in the new foyer on Monday, March 18 at 11:00AM.
Operation M46 Dad's Weekend
March 15-16
Dads, granddads, and dads-to-be, we hope you will join us for a weekend of encouragement, connecting with other dads, great music, good food, and tools to equip you to fight for the hearts of your children!

We'll kick off on Friday night with a Man-Sized Meal that you won't want to miss, and we'll have a big breakfast Saturday morning. We will also have Coach Jonathan Gess (ELCA Football Head Coach) join us as our guest speaker on Saturday morning.

Eat at Truett's Grill on Jonesboro Road during Spring Break and support the ELCA Relay for Life Team.
Students in all grades are invited to submit an entry for the Spring Fling T-shirt Design Contest. Submit your design by Thursday, March 14th to Mrs. Vicki at the receptionist’s desk. 
The winner will receive free admission to Spring Fling, free t-shirt and 2 homework passes.
The form to order Spring Fling tickets, arm bands and meal tickets will be COMING SOON.
ACT Aspire Testing Continues...
Questions? Check out this INFORMATIVE VIDEO .

Approved School Calendar
Celebrating Diversity
Elementary Quiz Bowl 
To help celebrate African American leaders who have made a difference in our society, high school students prepared a game during elementary chapel testing student's knowledge about African-American culture and history. First and fifth graders competed against second, third, and fourth graders. The students enjoyed the friendly competition while it was a fun, learning experience for everyone in the audience. 
African Cuisine for Lunch 
On Valentine's Day, SAGE highlighted African cuisine. which included peri-peri chicken, jollof rice, North African spiced carrots, and Algerian vegetable soup.

One of the students said it was the best seasoned chicken they've had all year and many high school students came back for seconds, thirds, and even fourth servings! 
My dream is.... Bulletin Board
High school students were asked to complete the statement "My dream is....." in honor of Martin Luther King Jr's dream. Their photos were taken and displayed on Diversity Council's bulletin board. Some of their dreams are to become an actress (written by a Greek student), engineer, politician, radiologist, or for all people to be treated with kindness. 
History Project in Stacy Smith's 3rd Grade Classroom
Third graders learned what impact African Americans have made in our nation by using technology and their history textbook to learn about historical figures. Their research helped learn about the childhood, achievements, and challenges of leaders such as Booker T. Washington, Benjamin Banneker, and George Washington Carver. (See below for more on the 3rd grade projects.)
Sharing the Love
K5 Teacher Mrs. April Henderson invited other faculty and staff to ask their students to make Valentine's Day cards for the residents of Westbury Health and Rehabilitation Center. Mrs. Henderson, Mr. Henderson (HS History Teacher) and their children Matthew and Amelia Jo delivered the cards (over 200 of them) to the delight of the residents. And Amelia made a very special friend that day!
Classes and groups that participated in making cards were:
-Mrs. Michelle’s 4K class
-Mrs. Angie’s 3K class
-Mrs. Jennifer’s 3K class
-Mrs. Cindy Baker’s accountability groups
-Mrs. Kim Bullard’s accountability groups
-Ms. Howington’s 4 th  grade class
-Ms. Harris’ 4 th  grade class
-Mrs. Loach’s 2 nd  grade class
-Mrs. Farr’s Kindergarten class
-Mrs. Henderson’s Kindergarten class
Robotics Offered After School for Grades 4 - 6
Learn to program and build robots! Robotics provides a fun way to keep students engaged in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) while also improving skills in critical thinking and teamwork! Students will learn how to build simple robotic machines, use different types of sensors, and write computer programs to activate their robotic models.

Spring Session: Tuesdays, March 12 - May 7 (No class on April 23)
Two classes offered with a limit of 8 students per class:
3:30-4:30, 5 th –7 th  Grades will use the LEGO Mindstorms or EV3 kit 
4:30-5:30, 4 th  Grade will use a beginner LEGO Robotics kit  

Cost: $200 for 7 classes, billed in two installments of $100
Cost includes use of computers and robot building kits. 
Class is held in the Elementary Library.

Instructor:Georgia Clark has a degree in electro-mechanical engineering and has taught Robotics for the past nine years to ages 9-17. She also coached the team “RoBUGs” that won multiple State Championships while competing in a worldwide robotics program called “FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition in Science and Technology)”.  She continues to volunteer at many FIRST events and competitions. 
Focus on Vision
Mrs. Martin's and Mrs. Fairley's accountability groups combined to make 2019 vision boards based on Proverbs 29:18, " Where there is no vision, the people perish." and Habakkuk 2:2, “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it."
Impacting Cuba
Because travel restrictions to Cuba have loosened, a unique opportunity for the first ever ELCA mission trip to Bayamo, Cuba was opened. Even with an alarming lack of Spanish Bibles and Christian resources, we found Christianity not only surviving, but flourishing despite persecution and government restrictions. This was an eye opening experience for each of us on the team. Worship services were amazing, as the people sang loud and the pastor held the attention of every person in the tightly packed pews. While in Cuba, our team conducted VBS type activities and preached services at up to three different churches, visited homes within different communities as well as worked on construction projects in the Bayamo and Jiguani areas. While visiting within the homes in the communities, we witnessed first hand the struggles that the people face with health issues and poverty, yet were clearly able to see how they relied on their faith to get them through.  We also experienced Cuba's beautiful historical sites such as the San Pedro de la Roca Castle in Santiago de Cuba, as well as visiting the beautiful beach area in Guardalavaca. Our team was able to leave behind a lot of desperately needed resources for the people that we met, but I think we can all agree that we each left a piece of our heart with the people of Cuba as well. ~Teresa McKay

Spring Break will bring about more cultural and mission trips. Students will be visiting Ireland, China, Honduras, Puerto Rico and Jamaica.
2019 STAR Student and STAR Teacher
It is a pleasure to announce that Dhruti Trivedi has been named the 2019 STAR Student for ELCA. Dhruti is the daughter of Jyotindra and Nimisha Trivedi of McDonough. Dhruti, who has attended ELCA since first grade, selected Mrs. Judith Lockhart, her Honors Geometry and Honors Pre-calculus teacher, as ELCA’s STAR Teacher who has had the most impact on her education. Dhruti received this recognition on the basis of her SAT scores and scholastic average.

Dhruti and Mrs. Lockhart were honored by the Henry County Chamber of Commerce at a breakfast on February 15 at Eagle’s Landing Country Club. 
We are honored to have Dhruti and Mrs. Lockhart represent ELCA as the STAR student and STAR teacher for 2019.
Governor's Honors Program
The Georgia Governor’s Honors Program (GHP) is a residential summer program for gifted and talented high school students who will be rising juniors and seniors during the program. The program offers instruction that is significantly different from the typical high school classroom and that is designed to provide students with academic, cultural, and social enrichment necessary to become the next generation of global critical thinkers, innovators, and leaders.

Congratulations to Olivia Tinsley (Science/Biology) and Hunter Mason (Instrumental Music) for advancing through the State Level interviews in the Governor's Honors Program. They await notification of the 2019 finalists later in the month.
In the Middle School Classroom
Nicholas Lemons was able to serve as a Legislative Page on February 20th. He served under Representative Demetrius Douglas (D-House District 78), ELCA students, Kelli Crews and Haleigh Howard (below) served as well. 

Brothers Ashton (8 th  grade) and Carson (6 th  grade) Schuerman also recently served as House Pages for a day at the Georgia Capitol.
Sixth and 7 th  grade students from Ms. India Scandrick’s drama class recently collected personal care items for International Women’s House in Decatur. The group was able to prepare 30 bags of care and comfort for homeless victims of abuse. Ms. Scandrick commended her students for their care and compassion at the conclusion of their stellar January performance of “High School Musical, Jr.” We are thankful for the Godly example of faculty members who teach our students to love and serve others.
During their 7 th  grade year, ELCA students learn about the New Testament in their Bible classes. In order to bring that learning to life, they recently traveled to The Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida. While there, they saw plays, interactive exhibits, and participated in Roman Soldier boot camp as pictured here.
Congratulations to the following middle school grade-level winners who represented ELCA at the recent ACSI area-wide spelling bee
6 th  grade: Emerson Askew, Tamia Goff, Kaila Leslie,
Cerrigan Mayweather, & Adelle O’Meara
7 th  grade: Kara Anthony. Kristen Capp, Aralyn Clements-King, Nicholas Mathew, & Chandler Tutt
8 th  grade: Miller Doerr, Makenna Freeman, Victoria Johnson,
Ché Totimeh-Pavel. Emma Whitlock, & Lily Wu
Three ELCA HOSA students recently attended a STEAM conference sponsored by the American Heart Association in Atlanta. The conference was held to encourage young women to pursue science and technology careers. Sessions were hosted by Piedmont Health Systems, Georgia Power, Comcast and Price Waterhouse Cooper. Those attending were Dhruti Trivedi, Olivia Tinsley and Abigail Yemisrach .
Congratulations to seniors Kelli Crews and Dhruti Trivedi who have been named as winners of the $500 Henry County Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation Scholarship. 
The girls were honored at the Henry County Chamber of Commerce’s Empowering Women Summit luncheon on March 7. As recipients of this scholarship, these young ladies are viewed as model female students in Henry County who will continue to exemplify the very best in work habits, work ethics, and life-long learning. They have set the standard for all future recipients who strive to continue in their footsteps. We are honored that both winners of this scholarship are students at ELCA!
Abigail Yemisrach and Dhruti Trivedi represented ELCA at the Henry County Science and Engineering Fair in mid-January. Abigail’s project, “Spaced Retrieval on Young Children” dealt with teaching a skill to young children and testing if they could repeat that skill correctly over time. It was entered into the Biomedical and Health Sciences category. Dhruti’s project, “The Function of Whey Protein on Crickets” dealt with testing the speed of crickets which had whey protein added to their diet. It was entered into the Cellular and Molecular Biology category. Both projects received rave reviews and first place prizes in their fields of study.

Abigail was further chosen to represent ELCA and Henry County at the Georgia Science and Engineering Fair that will take place in late March in Athens, Georgia. She continues to gather data and evidence to support her findings. 

Both ladies began their projects in the spring of last school year and received mentors through Project Dream (Demystifying Research and Engaging Mentors in Science).  Project Dream coordinated on-line learning sessions to discuss project topics, research skills, documentation and resources. This process will be available to all ELCA science students who would like to start a science fair project for next year’s science fair. We hope the success of both Abigail and Dhruti will inspire a new generation of scientists at ELCA.  
Mock Trial Awards
During the recent Henry County Mock Trial Competition, David Hodges received 2 best witness awards and Chris Johnson received 1 best witness award and a 4 year competition award.

The students competed in two rounds of a mock trial before a set of judges and attorneys. Students served as either a prosecution attorney or a defense attorney and witnesses.

T he Georgia High School Mock Trial Competition program involves teams from many of Georgia's public and private high schools, as well as several homeschool associations. Coached by volunteer attorneys and teachers, teams of 14 students work together to prepare their presentations from case materials provided by the High School Mock Trial Committee.

In the  competition  phase, students play the roles of attorneys and witnesses based on the witness statements and evidence provided in the case materials. Professional attorneys or judges serve as the Presiding Judges and Evaluators (jury). Teams are evaluated on their ability to make a logical, cohesive and persuasive presentation, rather than on the legal merits of the case.

Adding to the authenticity of the competition, teams compete in actual courtrooms across the state beginning with the Regional competitions.

Congratulations to these young men!

First Semester
Middle School
Historical Celebrities in our Midst
Third grade students completed a historical biography project requiring them to dress as their subject and present an oral report. Some of the historical figures included George Washington, Harriet Tubman, Meriwether Lewis, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pocahontas, Coretta Scott King, Ruby Bridges, Elizabeth Blackwell, Rosa Parks, and the list goes on...

Pictured are (front) Connor Peck as Thomas Jefferson, Kalen Frye as Shirley Chisholm and Caroline Farmer as Clara Barton, (back) Fabian Priestley as Squanto, Kennedy Fagan as Amelia Earhart, Amari Zellars as George Washington Carver, Jayden Turner as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Samuel Cozart as Benjamin Franklin.
Class of 2019 College Acceptances to Date

Congratulations to these young men and women.
More will be announced as they are received.
Benjamin Abrams
Middle Tennessee State University
Columbus State University

Deborah Adebisi
Xavier University (OH)
Rutgers University (NJ)

India Bellamy
Rice University (TX)

Samuel Balty
Grove City College (PA)
University of North Georgia
Georgia College
Liberty University (VA)

Jacob Belin
Hampden-Sydney College (VA)
Gardner-Webb University (NC)

Kortni Blalock
Louisiana State University

James Brown
Valdosta State University

Jack Buckley
US Merchant Marine Academy

Isaiah Capp
Liberty University (VA)
Anderson University (SC)
Charleston Southern University (SC)
Mercer University
Georgia College
Wofford College (SC)

Cody Carder
University of Georgia

Emma Carter
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southwestern University

Kelli Crews
University of Georgia
Spelman College

Lyndsey Darden
Truett-McConnell University

Katherine Earl
University of North Georgia

Aliya Elmore
University of Alabama
University of Georgia

Chloe Evans
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

Peyton Gibson
Georgia State University
Converse College (SC)

Julienne Goodner
University of Alabama

David Hodges
Ohio State University

Christopher Johnson
University of Georgia
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Miami (FL)

Kelvin Jones
Emmanuel College

Kerra Kelly
University of Alabama
Florida A & M University
Xavier University (LA)
Auburn University (AL)
Spelman College

Ben Lapsley
Hannibal-LaGrange University (MO)
Southwest Baptist University (MO)

Jenny Li
University of Pittsburg (PA)

Katie McDonald
Georgia Military College

Justin Menard
University of Central Florida

Michael Meneely
Auburn University (AL)

Andrew Meyer
Montana State University

Beth Moore
Mercer University

Miguel Mutisya
Valdosta State University
Kennesaw State University

Thoai Nguyen
Georgia State University Perimeter College

Ishan Padmani
Florida Institute of Technology

Trevon Reddish
College of Charleston

Donovan Reynolds
Georgia State University

Tre Riddick
Lenoir Rhyne College (NC)
Reinhardt University

Andrea Sanchez
Savannah College of Art & Design

Joshua Smith
Georgia Highlands

Jacob Strader
University of Georgia

Loren Sullivan
Western Carolina University (NC)
University of North Georgia

Cassidi Thomas
University of West Georgia

Sydney Thurston
Louisiana State University

Mitchell Tingle
Auburn University (AL)
Georgia College
Kennesaw State University
Mercer University

Dhruti Trivedi
Augusta University
Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Georgia
Mercer University

Felix Uadiale
Hampton University (VA)

Jon Paul Wheeler
Middle Georgia State University

Abigail Yemisrach
Mercer University

Johnathan Youngblood
Air Force Academy Preparatory School

Evan Zember
Air Force Academy Preparatory School
Congressional Nominations to the
Nation's Military Service Academies
Members of Congress are authorized by law to nominate candidates for appointment to four U.S. service academies. These schools are the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. The fifth service academy, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, does not require a congressional nomination for appointment. These institutions prepare college-age Americans to be officers of the U.S. uniformed services. Upon graduation, service academy graduates are commissioned as officers in the active or reserve components of the military or merchant marine for a minimum of five years.
Congressman David Scott recently hosted a special ceremony to honor 23 students from Georgia’s Thirteenth Congressional District receiving nominations.

Pictured are ELCA Class of 2018 graduate Daniel Kilpatrick who received the nomination to the United States Naval Academy, Congressman David Scott, and current ELCA senior Jack Buckley who received the nomination to the United States Merchant Marine Academy. Congratulations, Guys!
Chorus Kudos
Mrs. Tracey Fuller, Director of the ELCA Choral Department shares about the performances of our students at the ACSI Choral Festival in February.
I am thrilled to report that the Young Charger Chorale, Middle School Honor Chorale, and High School Chorus all made superior ratings at the ACSI Southeastern Choral Festival. We also had six soloists that participated in solo and ensemble festival: Rebecca Duren and Micaela Collins both scored perfect superior scores in every category.
Reese Spence and Savannah Hoover also scored a superior rating and Ben Blackburn and Loren Sullivan scored excellent ratings
We were the only school with students from elementary age and up participating at festival. All of the judges were from different colleges and after hearing us were aggressively pursuing our students and me about getting them into their colleges.
The other groups in attendance were several huge high school choirs, one huge middle school chorus and Strong Rock's elementary choir. I’ll admit that I was a bit intimidated and so were the students when we saw the schedule. We were the only Christian school in Henry County that participated in the festival with middle or high school students. In the past, others have always come, but this year was much different. The high schools were all elite choral groups.
After we finished today, one of the judges approached me and said he puts together a trip every few years to Carnegie Hall. He selects high schools to go with him each time by audition only. He informed me that after seeing us today, we would not need to audition if we were interested in going with them. I will follow up on details! All three judges came to me and expressed that there was an impressive amount of talent and excellence in our performances from our youngest students all the way up.
They were extremely surprised that the middle school and Young Charger Chorales only meet once a week and twice a week, and that we started this music after January 8th. Our students work very hard and make a lot of sacrifices to be in chorus. In high school, I have several students who give up most of their lunch, several that take Bible zero and several that give up IF just to be in chorus. They really work hard and give up a lot of time before and after school to achieve this excellence. I’m very thankful for them and that they are seeing Proverbs 14:23 fleshed out.
Save a Date!
2019 Spring Musical presented by the
ELCA Drama Department

May 2 @ 6:30PM
May 3 @ 6:30PM
May 4 @ 1:00PM
Benefitting Fine Arts...
ELCA Spring Program
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
@ 8:20AM in the Worship Center

Students in K3, K4, K5, 1 st -4 th  grades, as well as the 5 th  grade Chorus and Young Charger Chorale will be performing.
Holding their Heads High
Congratulations to the Varsity Boys Basketball team for their hard fought Championship game in Macon on Wednesday. The guys had a phenomenal season and missed the first place trophy by just 4 points. A great game to end a great season!
Moving to the Next Level
Wednesday, February 6 represented a big day for a lot of High School Student/Athletes around the country and especially at ELCA. Fifteen ELCA Student/Athletes signed (or had already signed) their National Letter of Intent to attend college and participate in college athletics.

Signing on February 6th were: India Bellamy – Rice University (Basketball), Jack Buckley - Merchant Marine Academy (Football), Cody Carder – University of Georgia (Football), Emma Carter- Georgia Southwestern State University (Soccer), Lyndsey Darden- Truett-McConnell University (Soccer), Chloe Evans- ABAC (Soccer), Kelvin Jones – Emmanuel College (Basketball), Katie McDonald- Georgia Military College (Softball), Justin Menard - University of Central Florida (Football), Trevon Reddish – College of Charleston (Basketball), Tre Riddick – Reinhardt University (Football), Josh Smith - Georgia Highlands (Baseball), Cassidi Thomas- West Georgia University (Soccer), Johnathan Youngblood - Air Force Academy (Football), Evan Zember - Air Force Academy (Football) 

There are currently 50 ELCA athletes competing at the collegiate level this year and it is exciting to know that these athletes will join them next season.
ELCA Athletes are in Good Hands
Congratulations to ELCA Athletic Trainer, Stephanie Vasquez who recently earned the inaugural Dr. Champ Baker, Jr. Young Professional Athletic Trainer Leadership Award from the Georgia Athletic Trainers’ Association.

Vasquez provides first aid, concussion care, mental health care and other services for approximately 200 young athletes a year at ELCA. Her latest accolade honors young professional athletic trainers in Georgia who
have been certified for 12 years or less.
Vasquez earned her certification 10 years ago and has worked for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for the last three years.

 “As an athletic trainer, I’m responsible for the health and well-being of the student athletes,” said Vasquez. “I help them with injury prevention, rehab, getting them to doctor appointments, and I’m the first responder when an injury occurs.”

Students at ELCA are certainly blessed to be in Stephanie's capable hands.

Enabling the Light to Shine Bright
The 4 th  Annual ELCA Touchdown Club Golf Tournament of Champions will be held Monday, April 15 at Eagle’s Landing Country Club.

Sponsor and team registration information is available online at  https://birdeasepro.com/elcatdclub . Your support allows us to continue to build the ELCA Football program as a tool to preach Jesus Christ to young men, their families and the community. 
Discovery Camps Coming Soon
Discovery Sports Camps offer younger students the opportunity to learn from ELCA's Varsity coaches.
Make your Summer Plans
Summer is just around the corner!
Check out the summer camp offerings at ELCA
including the Young Chargers Enrichment Program day camp, sports camps, academic camps and more!
Opportunities for Parent Involvement
The ELCA Fine Arts Patrons Board is accepting nominations for 2019-2020 Officers. Nominations are open through March 21st.  Elections will open one week after nominations close. Elections will be open from March 28th-April 11th. If you are interested in becoming involved in the Fine Arts Patrons, feel free to attend the next board meeting on Thursday, March 14 at 5:30PM in LC113.
The Parent Teacher Fellowship (PTF) is taking nominations for officers for 2019-2020. Email PTF President Chuck Ekstedt to make your nomination. Elections will take place at the next PTF meeting on Tuesday, April 9 at 3:30PM in room 205.
Faculty Spotlight

by Jonathan Gess is available now!

"As coaches, we want to be successful and we want to win. As Christian coaches, we know we are called to a much higher purpose than just winning football games. We are called to be great husbands, great dads, and men who shine as lights for Jesus Christ. As a coach, what does that look like and how are we to go about putting Christ before winning? If we do not have a plan and are not intentional in pursuing our plan, we will fail. We will find ourselves once again bowing down to the god of winning and success."


Friday, April 26 th  
Salem Baptist Church
Come out and join the ELCA team for a night of
inspiration, fellowship and fight!

You can donate to Relay for Life HERE
and enter "ELCA" in the search bar.
Add this to your calendar...
A Spoonful of SAGE
Did you know that SAGE utilizes the SPOTLIGHT PROGRAM for guidance on choosing healthy options and how to build a plate. This is a helpful way to learn good eating habits.

Baja Fish Tacos

Join us for the Ribbon Cutting for the Grand Opening of the new Charger Store on Monday, March 18
at 11:00AM.
7 Prospective Parent Reception at The Hazlehurst House - 5:30-7:00PM
8 ACSI Math Olympics @ ELCA
14 Fine Arts Patrons Meeting @ 5:30PM in LC 113
15 ACSI Art Festival in Bethlehem, GA
15 Taste of ELCA @ 5:30PM in The Chapel
15-16 Operation M46 Dad's Weekend
18 Charger Store Ribbon Cutting @ 11:00AM
27 ELCA Spring Program @ 8:20AM

1-5 Spring Break
12 PTF Spring Fling - School dismisses by noon for all students
15 Fourth Annual ELCA TD Club Tournament of Champions Golf Tournament
16 Art Gallery Show
19 Good Friday - NO SCHOOL
26 Relay for Life @ Salem Baptist Church

Check out chargersathletics.org for a full listing of athletic events.
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